Author Archives: CloudTweaks

Top 5 Reasons To Rename DROPBOX

Top 5 Reasons To Rename DROPBOX

#5: Too cutesy and meaningful.

A lot of research has been done proving that names with hard consonant sounds that mean nothing and are easy to pronounce are winners. How do you think Google has made it this far? Dropbox contains ALL soft sounds, it actually means something, and it’s just too cute. They should have just figured out the phonetic equivalent of a cat coughing up a hairball and gone with that. Creccqt works for me…”I didn’t email it, the file was way too big. I put it in your Creccqt instead.”

#4: The word “box” gives a false sense of security.

You put something in a box and close the lid—voila! It has suddenly and mystically been transformed into a hidden object of mystery. Boxes are not transparent. When they are, they’re called cases. Unfortunately, Drop Case sounds like something lawyers do when they don’t want to work too hard.

#3: The word ‘box’ makes you think of pizza. Or Christmas.

Maybe it’s a personal thing, but I don’t equate box with anything digital. I’ve bought plenty of computers—those came in a box—but giving a cloud-based application a name with “box” in it seems counter-intuitive. I’ve never found a pizza or a Christmas present in my Dropbox, just more work to do, stuff to read, etc. Maybe BuzzKillBox would be more appropriate.

#2: The cloud is overhead, not under your feet.

Thanks to Isaac Newton, the term “drop” implies something falling toward earth. The last time I checked, nothing that I dropped floated upward. Looks like Anti-GravityBox or You’re on GlueBox could be in the running.

#1: Too many negative connotations.

In a world where everyone seems to feel a need for a constant flow of happy peppy positives, the word “drop” just doesn’t seem to cut it. He dropped the ball, drop dead, eye drops, drop your drawers—you get the picture. Maybe Upbox would be a better fit. Then again, that name could conjure up some pretty derogatory applications as well. Ultimately, the best name is just an ethereal, innocuous humming sound. mmmmmBox.

By Mark Astle

Key Differences Between Server And Desktop Online Storage

Key Differences Between Server and Desktop Online Storage

Many people are saying that 2013 will be the “break-out”  year for cloud storage. A number of factors are pushing online data storage offerings – including file sharing, backup, archiving and more – beyond the consumer and small business market and into big business datacenters.

Below, I’d like to highlight some of the key differences which set server and desktop/laptop online backup and storage services apart, in hopes that this might give you some insight into how the space has developed and evolved over the years.

Desktop Online Backup

In the past, most work was done inside of the office, on company-owned PCs. But in recent years, there has been a dramatic shift where employees are permitted or even encouraged to perform work remotely. The new “digital natives” generation has also entered the workforce with new ways of working, and companies must be flexible in offering collaboration tools in order to attract, retain and maximize the productivity of top talent.

Online backup in both private and public cloud flavors –  helps solve the governance problems associated with having many remote workers. Online backup allows all of the critical business documents which are created outside of the office to be protected and monitored through a centralized system. Gone are the days when employees would wait until they came into the office before transferring their files to the mapped network drive. Proper governance demands that this process be automated and tightly controlled. If someone gets their laptop stolen, at least you’ll still retain your corporate knowledge assets.

Online file sharing is also important for eliminating many of the logistical headaches which came from forwarding email attachments back and forth. Now, everyone knows which document revisions are up-to-date, and mailboxes no longer get filled with duplicate copies of redundant files. Another advantage of online file sharing is that very large files or documents can be shared in a way that would’ve been impractical with email attachments.

Whether you like it or not, employees are going to use online file sharing services. Companies need to be proactive in providing these tools to employees in order to prevent corporate data from ending up on undocumented or improvised file sharing accounts which are outside of the IT department’s control. These kinds of arrangements can raise issues for compliance, security and privacy.

Server Online Backup

In the datacenter, data protection priorities are somewhat different. Servers never leave the office, and their administration is tightly controlled. Here is where the largest and most sensitive data stores reside.

However, manual tape-based backup processes are vulnerable to procedural mistakes and media failure. In the age of rapid data growth, automation is absolutely essential for eliminating risk and reducing backup costs.

Globalization has also caused a shift in the way datacenters are managed. Previously, offices operated on a 9-5 schedule. It was perfectly acceptable to take servers offline at 7 in order to perform a few hours of backup and standard maintenance. But today, the business world runs around the clock. Long backup windows are out of the question.

Additionally, this 24-hour schedule has greatly reduced the tolerance for unplanned downtime amongst companies. A 5 hour window to rebuild a critical server is highly undesirable.

Modern server online backup solutions tend to be more focused on reduction of backup recovery times. This is accomplished through several different means. Sometimes, you may have the option of hosting an appliance for fast on-site recoveries, and other options can even replicate your servers to a public cloud datacenter for on-demand emergency failover capacity.

Another category of server online backup may be more similar to their desktop counterparts, but with server-specific features. For example, you may require special recovery options for email accounts or database tables. Also, the use of hypervisors and virtual machines are creating new backup challenges which server online backup services are particularly well-suited to address.

Finally, cloud storage is perfect for tackling tough compliance challenges. Performing electronic discovery on format-neutral cloud storage is much more convenient than manually sorting through archival storage devices… and the on-demand computing capacity offered by the cloud also makes these discovery searches much more cost-effective.

As you can see, server and desktop online backup options have evolved a lot over the years… and both have grown to become distinct and suited to their own specialized sets of challenges.

By Paul Rudo,

Paul Rudo is the editor at Enterprise Features, a leading IT blog covering many aspects of cloud computing, big data and emerging technology.

Big Data And The Cloud

Big Data And The Cloud

The amount of data in our world increases massively day-by-day. Big data is about capturing, storing and analyzing large pools of data from customers/consumers, suppliers, partners, operations, employees etc. According to a McKinsey  report, US companies from almost all industry sectors have, on average, hundreds of terabytes of data stored per company. The amount of data is growing as companies gather more and more information with each transaction and interaction with their customers.

There are some unique benefits of Big Data that companies just can’t ignore:

·         Information is transparent and usable at a much higher frequency.

·         Better management decisions, based on more objective data analysis;

·         Forecasting industry trends or customer needs;

·         Better customer segmentation that ultimately helps them tailor their products and services;

·         Faster development of innovative products or services.

Today, the use of Big Data brings many competitive advantages. Meanwhile, as you know, cloud computing has also become a mainstream solution for storing, processing and sharing data, but these companies companies are not taking advantage of big data in the cloud.

So, why don’t companies using Big Data benefit also from using cloud technologies? Because moving large amounts of data in the cloud is not easy, especially for companies with terabytes of information. Many cloud providers saw new business opportunity in this and started to support big data solutions in the cloud.

recent survey conducted by GigaSpaces reveals some interesting aspects regarding the Big Data – Cloud relationship. They wanted to find out more about what IT professionals are concerned with when it comes to Big Data systems, what are their future plans , and what tools they are using.

Here are the three major findings:

·         80 percent of organizations view their Big Data processing as mission critical.

·    For companies handling Big Data, the need for real-time functionality is both significant and growing. The survey indicated that is increasing readiness to use streaming solutions to deal with the challenges of Big Data and speed up Big Data processing.

·      80 percent of companies have plans to move their Big Data to the Cloud, or are considering the option.

Cloud computing and Big Data are both very powerful trends. Together they can be even more powerful.  The cloud can make Big Data accessible while Big Data brings new business opportunities like better customer targeting and product innovation.

By Rick Blaisdell

2013 – The Year Of The Hybrid Cloud

2013 – The Year Of The Hybrid Cloud

The gurus of the Cloud Management industry are betting that 2013 will prove to be the year of Hybrid Cloud Computing. Cloud Management as a concept and a service has truly blossomed. Moreover, it is expected to keep on growing at the same rate. Cloud Computing, as an industry, is expected to achieve a revenue of $43.2 billion in 2016. The best example of the success of Cloud Management is Amazon Web Services whose revenue is expected to rise to $3.8billion this year.

The Dawn Of An Era

A hybrid cloud seeks to link the company owned datacenter with the third-party cloud infrastructure resulting in a hybrid model. This model results in benefits that are the best of both worlds, a totally flexible and scalable cloud with a secure datacenter owned by the company.

The popularity of hybrid clouds can be gauged by the fact that ‘Red Hat’, that deals with open-source programs, has developed a solution, especially, for the hybrid cloud market so that companies can easily establish hybrid cloud, analyze the entire model, pinpoint areas that need improvement, and operate on an optimal level.

A Successful Hybrid Cloud Model

Zyrion, a firm providing cloud integration and management software has been riding the tidal wave of success of Hybrid Cloud Computing for the past year and expects this boom to continue, and even increase, in 2013. This optimism comes from the fact that Zyrion witnessed a growth of 200% in 2012, in it’s business.

Benefits of Hybrid Cloud

The reason for this immense success of hybrid cloud computing is it’s ability to accomplish three core tasks for it’s users. These are:

  1. Providing the ability to alter cloud dynamics, quickly
  2. Ensuring complete security of the datacenter
  3. Easy management of the cloud, including performance monitoring

A hybrid cloud helps the technical team to develop and apply the required software and applications quickly, alter the cloud requirements as and when required, and manage the datacenter to optimize the entire dataflow and save a massive amount of money.

Conclusion

Hybrid Cloud Computing is just starting to make headway in the IT industry, but already it is raking up impressive reviews and helping firms gain increased control and save money. SMEs have rapidly accepted this technology. Now, it is up to the big enterprises to adopt this model.
By Pere Hospital,

Pere Hospital (CISSP & OSCP) is the CTO and co-founder at Cloudways Ltd. He has over two decades of experience in IT Security, Risk Analysis and Virtualization Technologies. You can follow Pere on Twitter at @phospital or learn more about Cloudways at www.cloudways.com

Whitepaper: Big Security For Big Data

Whitepaper: Big Security For Big Data

Whitepaper: Big Security For Big Data

We are children of the information generation. No longer tied to large mainframe computers, we now access information via applications, mobile devices, and laptops to make decisions based on real-time data. It is because information is so pervasive that businesses want to capture this data and analyze it for intelligence.

hp-bigdata

Data explosion

The multitude of devices, users, and generated traffic all combine to create a proliferation of data that is being created with incredible volume, velocity, and variety. As a result, organizations need a way to protect, utilize, and gain real-time insight from “big data.”

This intelligence is not only valuable to businesses and consumers, but also to hackers. Robust information marketplaces have arisen for hackers to sell credit card information, account usernames, passwords, national secrets (WikiLeaks), as well as intellectual property. How does anyone keep secrets anymore? How does anyone keep secrets protected from hackers?

In the past when the network infrastructure was straightforward and perimeters used to exist, controlling access to data was much simpler. If your secrets rested within the company network, all you had to do to keep the data safe was to make sure you had a strong firewall in place. However, as data became available through the Internet, mobile devices, and the cloud having a firewall was not enough. Companies tried to solve each security problem in a piecemeal manner, tacking on more security devices like patching a hole in the wall. But, because these products did not interoperate, you could not coordinate a defense against hackers.

In order to meet the current security problems faced by organizations, a new paradigm shift needs to occur. Businesses need the ability to secure data, collect it, and aggregate into an intelligent format, so that real-time alerting and reporting can take place. The first step is to establish complete visibility so that your data and who accesses the data can be monitored. Next, you need to understand the context, so that you can focus on the valued assets, which are critical to your business. Finally, utilize the intelligence gathered so that you can harden your attack surface and stop attacks before the data is exfiltrated. So, how do we get started?

HP-Infographic

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Cloud And Mobile Adoption Increases IT Security Risks

Cloud And Mobile Adoption Increases IT Security Risks

Mobile Adoption Increases IT Security Risks

As more businesses transition their mission-critical operations to cloud and mobile-ready applications, the direct consequence is increased security vulnerability.

Last year, more than 30% of all mission-critical business applications were already in the cloud. That number is expected to rise to 50% as early as 2015. And as more business processes continue to expose themselves, the need for more stringent security measures becomes even more apparent.

An obvious solution would be to restrict the inclusion of sensitive data on cloud-driven applications. Unfortunately, as many as 15% of business leaders admit to not knowing how much sensitive data (if any) are on the cloud. In fact, close to half of business leaders aren’t fully up-to-date on their own internal policies on user access privileges.

The heart of this problem could lie in the system itself. Over 30% of IT leaders are unable to properly record user access privileges. And even after employment termination, 50% of employees feel that their employers do not revise user privileges quick enough.

In effect, the speed of cloud and mobile adoption is vastly outpacing the ability to properly secure them. If this concern is left unaddressed, businesses could be facing wide-scale security risks in only a couple of years’ time, if not sooner.

SAI301_Infographic - Market Pulse Survey_V11

Infographic Source: Sailpoint

By Zig Roberts

How Business Process as a Service (BPaaS) Works

How Business Process as a Service (BPaaS) works

Business-process-as-a-service (BPaaS) is a relatively new concept.  It mixes Business Process Management (BPM) with one or more aspects of cloud deployment: SaaS, IaaS, or PaaS.

What is Business Process Management?

Business process management is an approach that aims to make a company’s workflow more effective, efficient and adaptable to new developments. This kind of workflow enables businesses to be more flexible and to decrease their spending.

Traditional Business Process Management Systems (BPMS) integrate business processes and keep track of running instances of these processes. A BPMS coordinates the execution of a business process step by step. Each process instance is monitored by the BPMS, and provides users insights into each processes progress and show if they are completed successfully, or if they have crashed. In case of a crash, the BPMS shows where the process had issues. By monitoring, evaluating and identifying where business processes fail, companies have the opportunity to act proactively and optimize their processes. This will ultimately lead to lower costs and better customer satisfaction.

BPaaS or Cloud-Based Business Process Management

A Business Process as a Service (BPaaS) is any business process delivered as a service through cloud solutions.  With BPaaS one or more business processes are uploaded to a cloud service that performs and monitors them. Like any other cloud environment, BPaaS gives companies the opportunity to use cloud software in a pay-per-use model, instead of having to invest in hardware and maintenance.

Here are some advantages of moving business process management to the cloud:

·    Decreased costs from not buying and maintaining servers to manage and coordinate business process.
·         Pay-as-you-go pricing model
·       Increased mobility, by accessing the solution from any geographical point. This allows businesses the opportunity to grow and expand much faster.
·     Scalability by allowing companies to add new processes without much infrastructural cost.

Last year, Gartner released its forecast for the Cloud Business Process Services/Business Process as a Service area. It predicts that BPaaS will grow from $84.1B in 2012 to $144.7B in 2016, generating a global compound annual growth rate of 15%. Of the eight sub segments Gartner is tracking in their BPaaS forecast, Cloud Payments (17.8%) Cloud Advertising (17.1%) and Industry Operations (15.1%) are expected to have the greatest compound annual growth rates (CAGR) in revenues generated by 2016.

By Rick Blaisdell

Putting The Service Back In “as-a-Service”

Putting the Service Back in “as-a-Service”

The future of cloud computing has often been framed as being a debate between private vs. public clouds, with each model having its own strengths and weaknesses in terms of cost-effectiveness, control and security. The debate should instead focus on what each model can borrow from the other to deliver the most efficient, scalable and flexible service possible.

When deploying a private cloud, system administrators should take a page from public clouds by focusing on the overall services their private cloud is providing. When designing and implementing a private cloud, enterprises need to focus on meeting the needs of the line of business. By utilizing a service-oriented approach that ensures the business can easily access and rapidly deploy the services it needs, enterprises can maximize the benefits of their private cloud deployment.

Making a service-oriented philosophy work

A service-oriented approach to a private cloud deployment can be defined as falling somewhere between pure Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). In IaaS, a developer or operations manager has to create and manage every image. For PaaS, you don’t control any of these machines; the cloud takes care of it all. In a service-oriented model, you predefine and have running in the cloud a service like a database or load balancer, so developers don’t have to recreate those every time they want to roll out a new application.

The advantage of this approach is that it simplifies the solution deployment task for IT and for the lines of business that are interacting more closely than ever through the deployment of private clouds. A service oriented approach increases reliability because you’re using standardized services and not maintaining multiple different virtual machines. It potentially lowers cost in the long run because developers spend less time setting up virtual machines and more time defining applications to take advantage of the services you’ve already deployed.

There are no real downsides to adopting a service-oriented approach. What you’re trying to do is provide some of the pre-canned capabilities you get with Platform as a Service while still giving your developers full flexibility to define the applications they want to define. For example, IT and the line of business could agree to maintain a standard PostgreSQL database image, but the line of business may have an exception where an application it really needs requires an Oracle machine. The line of business could deploy its own Oracle database server for this specific application. They have all the flexibility in the world, but they’d be responsible for maintaining that image.

Deploying a service-oriented approach doesn’t lock you into anything. It just allows you to predefine certain capabilities which will make it easier in the long run to deploy and maintain new solutions. There might be additional work for the IT staff to define the interfaces, but if you choose, you can turn to a vendor the delivers preconfigured services in the cloud.

Potential downsides

If you don’t adopt a service-oriented approach, you’re not taking advantage of measures that could improve the agility and responsiveness of the line of business. You’d be running cloud, but you would not be taking full advantage of the private cloud model.

To turn the model into a reality, you need to start by working with the line of business to analyze what services make sense to standardize across the set of services that will run in the cloud. The analysis should focus on the services that are common across all the various solutions you’re bringing to your user base. You identify the services used the most and are most similar to each other, and those that offer no advantage to being customized. IT then takes responsibility for maintaining the frequently used services and publishing APIs to let people know how to get access to them. It’s similar to what Amazon does around its relational database service. IT defines a set of services that ultimately get instantiated as cloud images, but you also define what APIs developers can take advantage of to get access to those solutions.

When does an organization know it has successfully deployed a service-oriented deployment? The short answer is, you know you’re successful when your development groups use pre-defined services instead of creating their own. This is the Amazon model: customers start off using Amazon EC2 to stand up their own application server and database server but migrate over time to using other Amazon services. If you’re taking full advantage of the cloud, it will be easier to use the newly created model, and your customers will switch as well.

The future

In the future, it’ll be easier to gear services to specific business lines because we’ll see more private cloud providers offering these services prepackaged as part of their cloud solutions. You’ll be able to deploy a set of services in your cloud – with a set of APIs and documentation that allows you to take advantage of that. The aim is to take advantage of all the value that private cloud computing has to offer, and adopting a service-oriented approach is the most direct way to accomplish this goal.

By Peter Chadwick

Pete Chadwick is senior cloud solutions manager with SUSE, a provider of interoperable Linux and cloud infrastructure.

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Five Signs The Internet of Things Is About To Explode

Five Signs The Internet of Things Is About To Explode

The Internet of Things Is About To Explode By 2020, Gartner estimates that the Internet of Things (IoT) will generate incremental revenue exceeding $300 billion worldwide. It’s an astoundingly large figure given that the sector barely existed three years ago. We are now rapidly evolving toward a world in which just about everything will become…

Cloud Computing Checklist For Startups

Cloud Computing Checklist For Startups

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Cloud Infographic – Cloud Computing And SMEs

Cloud Infographic – Cloud Computing And SMEs

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Cloud Infographic – The Internet Of Things In 2020

Cloud Infographic – The Internet Of Things In 2020

The Internet Of Things In 2020 The growing interest in the Internet of Things is amongst us and there is much discussion. Attached is an archived but still relevant infographic by Intel which has produced a memorizing snapshot at how the number of connected devices have exploded since the birth of the Internet and PC.…

10 Trending US Cities For Tech Jobs And Startups

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10 Trending US Cities For Tech Jobs And Startups Traditionally actors headed for Hollywood while techies made a beeline for Silicon Valley. But times are changing, and with technological job opportunities expanding (Infographic), new hotspots are emerging that offer fantastic opportunities for tech jobs and startup companies in the industry. ZipRecruiter, an online recruitment and job…

Cloud Infographic – The Data Scientist

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Data Scientist Report The amount of data in our world has been exploding in recent years. Managing big data has become an integral part of many businesses, generating billions of dollars of competitive innovations, productivity and job growth. Forecasting where the big data industry is going has become vital to corporate strategy. Enter the Data…

Why Hybrid Cloud Delivers Better Business Agility

Why Hybrid Cloud Delivers Better Business Agility

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Fintech Investments Are Seeing Consistent Growth

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Cloud Computing Myths That SMBs Should Know

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Cloud-Based Services vs. On-Premises: It’s About More Than Just Dollars

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Data Breaches: Incident Response Planning – Part 1

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The Cancer Moonshot: Collaboration Is Key

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Technology Influencer in Chief: 5 Steps to Success for Today’s CMOs

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Success for Today’s CMOs Being a CMO is an exhilarating experience – it’s a lot like running a triathlon and then following it with a base jump. Not only do you play an active role in building a company and brand, but the decisions you make have direct impact on the company’s business outcomes for…

Don’t Be Intimidated By Data Governance

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Data Governance Data governance, the understanding of the raw data of an organization is an area IT departments have historically viewed as a lose-lose proposition. Not doing anything means organizations run the risk of data loss, data breaches and data anarchy – no control, no oversight – the Wild West with IT is just hoping…

Staying on Top of Your Infrastructure-as-a-Service Security Responsibilities

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Three Tips To Simplify Governance, Risk and Compliance

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How The CFAA Ruling Affects Individuals And Password-Sharing

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Cost of the Cloud: Is It Really Worth It?

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Cost of the Cloud Cloud computing is more than just another storage tier. Imagine if you’re able to scale up 10x just to handle seasonal volumes or rely on a true disaster-recovery solution without upfront capital. Although the pay-as-you-go pricing model of cloud computing makes it a noticeable expense, it’s the only solution for many…